Board of Directors

Dr. B.K. (Babs) Johnston


B. K. (Babs) Johnston is a lifelong educator who is both a product of and a teacher in Georgia schools -- elementary through college. She spent over 20 years at Georgia State University, with a PhD in Educational Administration (1987). DeKalb County (GA), where 5 of her 6 children graduated from high school (Druid Hills & Lakeside), is home. She and her husband Hiram have lived in Morgan County since 1999. Her youngest daughter graduated from Morgan County High. Babs has been involved in myriad of child-oriented organizations over the years, including DeKalb Juvenile Court, DeKalb County Schools, Morgan County Schools Mentoring Program (13 children), and the Boards of Ferst Readers, Boys and Girls Club, Family Connection and System of Care. She also volunteers at Madison-Morgan Cultural Center and Morgan Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Working out and photography are her passions.

“As a mentor to Morgan County children ‘at risk,’ I know receiving books from Ferst has made a significant difference in their lives. The five oldest children did not receive books and three dropped out of school. The two who did graduate are currently unemployed. However, the remaining eight children who received Ferst books have passing grades and the two in high school are on track for graduation and making post-secondary plans. I believe books from Ferst have made all the difference in the lives of these children! That is why believe in Ferst!”


  • President
    Betsy Wagenhauser 

  • Accounting and Development Coordinator
    Amy Zygler 

  • Director of Operations/Translations
    Claudia Jasso 

  • Program Coordinator
    Susan Vaughn 

  • Regional Program Coordinator
    Debbie Ross 

  • Regional Program Coordinator/Technology
    Michelle Maddox 

  • Grant Coordinator
    Kelly Freyer 

  • Project Coordinator
    Emily Pettigrew 

  • Administrative Assistant Publications/Social Media
    Olivia Ramfos 

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Thank you for visiting Ferst Readers!

Ensuring that children develop early literacy skills is one of the most important things we can do - as parents, as teachers - and as a society.

Won't you help us make a difference?

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